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TBTF for 1995-08-13: Musings on Netscape enhancements

Keith Dawson (dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com)
Sun, 13 Aug 1995 20:24:33 -0400

[Some of the coolest Web pages make use of Netscape's proprietary enhance-
ments to HTML markup. What Netscape did was to introduce markup that was (in
some cases) in advance of the HTML standard of the time, or (in other cases)
contrary to the spirit of the standards concensus. (Netscape's expressed
opinion is that they're fully a team player in the standards process.) The
question of how page creators should react to Netscape's seductive but
nonstandard capabilities is a divisive one, and we're seeing all sorts of
approaches on the Web -- from separate trees for Netscape/other browsers,
to blunt declarations that the pages in question were designed to be viewed
with Netscape (and to heck with you if you're using anything else).]

>>From Edupage (1995-08-10): (For your own subscription, send mail to
listproc@educom.edu with the message: subscribe edupage .)

On the heels of Netscape's incredible success on Wall Street, industry
analysts are warning that Microsoft's plans for its own proprietary Web
browser and content may eventually weaken Netscape's appeal. A new content
creation tool called Blackbird would enable content providers to create
vibrant content that could be read only by Microsoft's browser, which could
also be used to peruse the Web, in effect usurping Netscape's utility.
(Wall Street Journal, 10 Aug 95 B3)

[One interpretation of this item is that the WSJ, along with every other
commentator I've seen, is at a loss to explain he import of Netscape's
spectacular IPO.

[Microsoft can play the standards-bending game if they want to; they have
the muscle to pull it off. That Netscape got away with it is a bit remark-
able. Opinion on Usenet and the mailing lists tilts toward resentment of
Netscape for their perceived abandonment of standards.

[I looked in on the Microsoft Network home page a few weeks ago, soon after
it came online, and although it sported a banner reading "This page enhanced
for Windows 95," the HTML markup used didn't at that time fall outside of the
bounds of HTML 2.0 + Netscape 1.1. The page has since moved and the banner
is gone.]

>>From TidBITS (1995-08-07): (For your own subscription, send mail to
listserv@ricevm1.rice.edu with the message: subscribe tidbits .)

[Adam Engst, author of "The Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh" (aka TISK),
also runs the TidBITS newsletter with items of Macintosh interest. While I
use Macs at home and at work I try to keep TBTF more catholic in flavor.
The reason I find this item interesting is that it marks the publication
of a big-selling trade paperback -- the 3rd edition of Adam's book -- and
its simultaneous availablilty on the Web (in full). For the Netscape 1.1
enhanced version see <http://www.mcp.com/hayden/iskm/book.html> and for the
plain version see <http://www.mcp.com/hayden/iskm/mac.html>. (The Netscape
enhancing in this case is not very deep, extending only to the top page as
far as I can see.)]

I hope you find the online version useful, with all its hot URLs
and email addresses and newsgroup names. I suspect most people
will find that the online version is a useful adjunct to the paper
version, since you can't very well read about troubleshooting
online if you're having trouble, but typing in URLs... is going
to be a real pain.

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Keith Dawson dawson dot tbtf at gmail dot com dawson@atria.com
Layer of ash separates morning and evening milk.